Special Needs Parents, You Aren't Perfect, And It's Ok

Friday, January 3, 2020

Let me just come right out and say it... You aren't perfect. I'm sure you already know this. Not as a human, a friend, a sibling, a child, a consumer, a business owner, and, oh yes, not as a parent. You are not a perfect parent. You never will be.

That's OK.

Three photos of a red-haired woman babywearing her toddler on the front of her, standing on a balcony overlooking mountains.

I believe this topic can be applied to all types of parents. However, I think this topic stings a bit more when it comes to the struggles of Special Needs Parents, because you all have quite a bit more on your plates, and your imperfections can absolutely seem like you have failed your child horrifically.

You haven't.

Parenting is ever-changing, and you have time to change with it.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been with a Special Needs Parent who has broke down crying, stating that they feel like they're failing their child.. and from seemingly simple things. Special Needs Parents have so much that bogs them down every day, that it is hard to keep up. You're not alone in feeling that, trust me. The phone calls, appointments to be made, therapies, special activities, and if you're homeschooling-- all of that, as well!

It's a lot.

And no matter how much you are doing, you could be doing more, right? There is always more to be done. Always. And through all of the things that you need to do, you still need to care for that child every day.. through all of their struggles. You somehow have to make phone calls and get to appointments, no matter how bad of a day it is for your kid.

A red-haired woman wearing a black and white striped top, and blue sweater, while nursing her toddler.It's a lot.

There is always more to be done.
More research. More therapies. More appointments. More phone calls. More help. More. Help. And when you see another special needs parent that seems to have their crap together, you judge yourself. You think "I'm not doing enough. I've failed my kid.".

You haven't. You aren't perfect... it's ok.

Even worse is when you have these parents who actually make the statements like, "Well it all depends on how much effort you want to put in for your child.".. when, really, it's not all about that. My desire to get help for my child actually has very little to do with my capabilities. However, their need for help has everything to do with me feeling overwhelmed and anxious. 

And what about resources? The availability or even funds to cover those things that they need?
What about when you have more than one child who has special needs?
What about when only one of your children has special needs, and you have other kids who still need to be cared for, and you feel like you can't put in the time/energy into them, if you're putting it all into your SN child?

Guys, it's a lot.

I, personally, have had mom's confide in me about how they feel like they're not enough because they "can't seem to get their crap together", so that they can get help for their child.
They cry.
They ask how do I do it all.

I don't.

A red-haired woman cuddling her toddler.

I am not a perfect special needs parent, and it's ok.

Most of my parenting life, I probably wasn't doing enough, by some standards. I felt like I was, but some could judge that differently. HOWEVER, other people's opinions on my work as a parent are irrelevant. Truly.

Even if you had a year in my shoes, and did more than I do, it's irrelevant. You aren't me. These aren't your kids. So your opinion on my efforts is completely irrelevant.

Just as my opinion on your efforts is irrelevant. We do what we can, when we can, how we can. That is all that should be expected of us. Any parent. That's all that we should expect of ourselves.

You, as a Special Needs Parent, are taking each day as you can. Today might not be great. Tomorrow might suck even more. But you're doing it. You're pushing through. You're loving your child. You're doing all that you can today and, hopefully, it gives them a better tomorrow.

Please, stop putting more on yourself or allowing others to put more on you, when you have enough. You seriously. have. enough. to worry about. It's really OK to not be able to do it all, all of the time. None of us are. You're OK being not perfect...

What is a big struggle you face, in your Special Needs Parent duties, that bogs you down the most?? Share in the comments!

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